This is the very first time I've sent a newsletter!
The big news that got me firing up the Mail Chimp for the first time is that my publisher, First Second, just announced the third book in The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo series - The Tangled Web is coming out October 26th! Right in time for Halloween, of course. Here's the cover:
I'd love you to check it out - the first chapter of the book already online at my site, and it will continue to serialize twice a week. If you're a paper-only reader, you can preorder now if you so feel like (there's links to all the usual suspects if you click that link). If you've got any monster-loving folks in your life, kid or adult - feel free to pass the news along!
Margo's going deep in this one, in more ways than one. Margo and Charles's relationship gets tested, revelations are made about the nature of Echo City -- and a cool logo is designed. I'm really happy with this book - I think this is where Margo's story really kicks into high gear. I've been told that The Tangled Web is a Junior Library Guild selection, so that should mean copies sneaking into school libraries across the country, which pleases me. In the past we've had in-person book release parties at local bookstore, but as you know, things aren't exactly back to normal. We'll see when we're a little closer.
I'm looking for two things - Margo-related questions and Margo-related fan art! I'd like to feature both in the next newsletter, which should hit your inbox around the beginning of July. There's something in it for you - if I pick yours for the newsletter, I'll drop a little sketched-upon postcard in the mail. So drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Margo Newsletter," why don't you? And if you just want to write, feel free. I love getting 'em, and even try to respond, but no guarantees,
I've already started writing book 4 - and realizing that really, I have to block out at least the rough outline of the whole rest of the series, if I expect this ever-complicating thing to hold together. I even got Scrivener recently, tempted by the "note card" function where you can write short chunks and move them around on a virtual corkboard to your heart's content. Early results seem promising. I'm hoping this newsletter will be a good way to bring you along for the trip - let me what you'd like to see more of.
Life in the desert
But before we get to fall, here in Tucson we're already staring down the barrel of a long, hot, dry summer. As you might have seen on my blog, we caravanned here from Athens, GA last summer, so we could pod up with Eleanor's family. And as hard as it is to believe, we've been here almost a year! Especially since Covid meant that we saw very little of indoors Tucson. That doesn't mean we haven't seen a lot of desert beauty, though. Eleanor's been teaching Danny to avoid cactuses, and so far we've gotten lucky in that regard. Her childhood experience tells us that it's really only a matter of time before an unpleasant encounter, however. Everything growing in this place has spikes on it.
Please enjoy my pandemic haircut. Now that we're fully-vaxxed, Eleanor, Danny and I are planning to head back to Georgia for some of the summer - not that it'll be any cooler! We'll be splitting our time between Tucson and Athens for the near future - I'm looking forward to actually getting to see more of both.
These author newsletters always seem to have media recommendations, don't they? I've been on a totally self-indulgent comfort-food media kick recently- don't judge. So here are some things I enjoyed:
Movie: Willow (1988). Sometimes knocked as a little too Star Warsy (it WAS written by George Lucas) I can't help but adore this movie. Warwick Davis is the title character, trying to save a baby from an evil queen and several incredible practical-effect monsters. To me this movie falls on the right side of "gently used" classic fantasy movie tropes, and I stan any movie whose climax features two elderly sorceresses fist-fighting.
Music: Spirit Phone by Lemon Demon. Lemon Demon is Neil Cicierega, who is still probably best known for his early-2000s-internet novelty anthem The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny. As synthpop, Spirit Phone kinda slaps, though - plus it's all about monsters, aliens, and cryptic phenomenon. Highlights: Man-Made Object, Eighth Wonder.
Website: A Book of Creatures (www.abookofcreatures.com) - you'll probably be able to guess how I discovered this site. Twice a week, a new mythical creature from somewhere in the world, illustrated and with references. A much better way to waste an evening than refreshing Twitter.
Be safe and well. Get in touch with an old friend.